Our Health Community: Dinner Dispatch

Abbie SawyerOur Health Community

Meet Dinner Dispatch, a local Des Moines business offering wholesome, home-cooked meals that are fully prepared and ready to be cooked in your kitchen within minutes!

Tell us a bit about Dinner Dispatch. Why did you start this business? How has it evolved? What is it today?

Jen and I started Dinner Dispatch after being a part of a meal prep company that specialized in freezer meal workshops. While we loved the idea of getting many meals done at once, it was a LOT of work! As busy working moms, we needed more convenience. Knowing that we both were looking for more flexibility and autonomy than our former careers could give us (I was a teacher and Jen was a nurse), we quit our jobs in 2019, and decided to build the business that we were looking for. After about 9 months of figuring out how that would work, we really came into our own when we started prepping our meals at the Mickle Center Shared Use Commercial Kitchen. With little startup costs, we were able to come up with our own recipes and our own process. When Covid hit, we quickly went from being a 2 woman operation to having 10+ people on our team helping with office work, prep work, and deliveries. We were fortunate to be able to move into our own kitchen in May of 2021 and went from being 100% online to having a place where folks could pop in and grab meals in addition to keeping our weekly deliveries. We continued to grow, and now have more than 20 team members. 

What makes your approach different? How does your business help people?

From the start, we wanted to make sure this business was a service that families could integrate as part of their regular meal planning. Because mealtime happens 3x a day, EVERY DAY, we wanted to make sure our service was not only time-saving but was also within the reach of a normal family food budget. We see dinnertime as not only a time to get food on the table, but also a time to connect. If folks can spend less time in the grocery store and in the kitchen, and more time around the table, that is our ultimate reward! 

We both left professions that were centered on people, and that is the core of our business now. We know the mental load that mealtime takes and how that drags down your entire day. We want our meals to be a way to de-stress life, even if just for a little bit. Not everyone has the time to make meals from scratch, but we think everyone deserves a healthful dinner made with real food. We make it more accessible!

What’s one thing people should know about your business if they’ve never tried it before?

We’re not just a dinner company! We have solutions for every mealtime. From overnight oats for busy mornings to mason jar salads at lunch, we have many options to get you through the day. We also try to make sure that our serving sizes fit any amount of eaters. From single-serve meals to meals that feed up to 6 people, we can make sure you have the right amount (with generous portions) of food for however many eaters are at your table.

What do you love about the Greater Des Moines community?

Collaborating is SO fun in Des Moines. We highlight at least 4 other small businesses on our website each week so that we can help others grow and get products out to the community. We know the biggest challenge small businesses have is letting people know they are out there, so we try to promote others as much as we can. Small business is the HEART of Des Moines.

What’s next?

This summer we are excited to launch our newest product, our On-the-Go kits. These are ready-to-eat packs that serve 4 and can be taken anywhere — the ballgame, the beach, the park — because we know that summers are non-stop action! We also are working on smoothie packs as well special freezer meal bundles that highlight some of our most nutritional meals.

Where can people learn more about Dinner Dispatch?

Our website: www.dinner-dispatch.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/dinnerdispatch

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dinnerdispatch 

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